tv [untitled] April 10, 2013 4:30am-5:00am PDT
guidelines is something that we actually need in san francisco. and san francisco right now, delays are used to kill a project and they almost killed the booker t. project. kalla fordable housing for emancipated foster youth [speaker not understood], and i think clarity is what we need to make this thing go forward. thanks. >> thank you very much. next speaker. supervisors, my name is dennis [speaker not understood]. i'm a native san franciscan. i serve on the park committee as a [speaker not understood]. and i'm here today, one, to urge that you guys, in the interest not only of good government, but in creating even better legislation, put those two pieces of legislation together and not act today on
supervisor wiener's legislation alone. but i wanted to talk about something else, and that is it looks to me like -- and it came up as prozac. it looks to me like small, small examples of appeals have been made in the mountains. for example -- and i think even you, scott wiener, mentioned this early on in the process -- the lafayette park appeal. first of all, it has made a very big deal, prozac and the press. lafayette park wasn't a ceqa appeal, it was a board of permits a people. secondly, by the rec and park management admission themselves, there were five permits, only one of which was appealed. the project went forward. 85% of the project just proceeded. that one permit was the only permit, it didn't stop the project accountv the project is virtually finished. but somehow it was made into a mountain. i think the same kind of thing is happening with this dolores park thing that conveniently
came up this week. ~ i don't know who that person s but maybe they're more interested in kids than dogs. but let me get to the point. the first approval is to me really one of the key things that's not clear here and there's a project that rec and park is now doing at the former hank site which they've gotten a cat ex for for the project which claims that it was only going to deal with 5,000 square feet and it is now at two-thirds of an acre and the amount of money being spent is from a quarter million to 1.6 million and it's never gone before the public. and i think they're going to try and [speaker not understood] cat exed. >> thank you very much. thank you. mr. holland. thank you. murry holland with the planning association for the richmond park. you have a letter from me, it's over a month old by now, in support of this legislation. our basis of our support, the
primary basis is the fact that there is no codes for an appeal of either an exemption or a negative declaration in itself is the most opaque part of the process. if you can't appeal the two major decisions to basically deny an environmental review, you've got some real problems. and we think it's important that we get some codification immediately for those two kinds of decisions. and i appreciate the fact that the 20 days we complained about initially and i appreciate and thank you for making that 30 days, that make a lot more sense. but we still have a problem with the issue of the notification. just knowing when the decision is made and knowing that it's related to ceqa is not going to cut it totally. what you have to know is also and the public needs to know is
the details of either the exemption what the reasoning is why it was done, or in the case of a negative declaration, what mitigations are being proposed. those need to be followed. so, you were talking earlier in your meeting about advance notification of a ceqa decision. i think the clock starts running after that decision has been made and you get that follow-up information as an integral part of the notice. that's what we'd like to see, okay, thank you. >> thank you very much. commissioner. supervisors, ron miguel. i'm speaking basically from experience of being a neighborhood activist from back in the '80s, president of the neighborhood association for some 16 years, five years on the planning commission. so, having people, citizens of san francisco ask me questions and ask me to clarify including
those regarding ceqa. and when i came into a situation where i could not do so and i thought i knew the process, i still think i know the process, i still can't explain the law. and obviously from your opening remarks, supervisor wiener, even the city attorney's explanation cannot be easily understood. supervisor chiu, you wanted something specific. i'll give you one instance that's personal to me. we did, my wife and i, a major remodel on our home a number of years ago, some 20 years ago. 1870s house in san francisco, the type of home that is not unusual in this city where it is easy to discover thing as you go along. we did get an exemption.
there is a minor dormer that can be seen from the street, goes into the house next door. but we hadn't decided on appliances. and when we started decide on appliances for the kitchen, we realized we had to pull another electric permit for the 220. multiple permits are not at all unusual. it had nothing to do with a major project. it had nothing to do with the building envelope. the concept of the first permit is what controlled. as far as enforcement and the rest, which you have heard about, that has nothing [inaudible]. >> thank you. thank you, mr. miguel. mr. lazarus. good afternoon, supervisors. jim lazarus, san francisco chamber of commerce and the alliance for jobs and sustainable growth, are partners with numerous civic and labor unions. we urge approval of supervisor
wiener's legislation today. it's outrageous, really, that for more than a decade san francisco has not had a codified process so that everybody can understand what the appeal process is on cat ex and negative declarations. that's a real function of government to make sure that the issuance of permits, the issuance of contracts, appeal process are known and codified. so, we urge you to move forward with this today. there is no shortage of appeal opportunities in san francisco. when that second or third permit has to be pulled on a project, the board of appeals is there and has been there for decades before ceqa was ever on the books. so, these -- the issues before you today are meeting an obligation long overdue to create a transparent process so that everybody knows how they file an appeal, the timelines,
and the numbers of people that have failed to meet those. nobody here today has talked about every year there must be dozens of people who have tripped up for the lack of a transparent process. so, we urge you to approve the appeal process before you today. thank you very much. >> thank you. [inaudible]. thank you, supervisors. i want to thank supervisor kim specifically for asking us to look at the proposed amendments that are before us and to provide some comments. as supervisor wiener said at the beginning, what is being attempted to do is a modest proposal to present predictability and clarity, clarifying rules and timelines. we believe this is exactly what these legislations should do. and, so far as they do that, the council of community housing organizations is fully in support. we support the 30-daytime limit. and we support creating a
procedure for negative declarations, mitigated negative declarations and cat x's. however, what the proposed amendment before us does ~ is a lot more. it takes entire section 3.16 that leaks it and replaces it with something new. supervisor wiener in his opening statement said this is not a proposal that attempts to change anything about full e-i-rs. given the back and forth between the supervisors and the staff, it's clear that that is not entirely factual. in fact, it does change the process for changing e-i-rs. we looked at this as a policy committee of our members and a couple of items stuck out. there were a lot of things that were confusing, but in particular section 31.16 b changes the responsibility for hearing appeals of a full e-i-r from the full board to [inaudible] committee of the board taking away the accountability and the ability for all board members to understand what is being heard
in a hearing like this. secondly, you've heard a lot about this question of approval actions. that needs to be clarified. and given this, we would like to see proposals linked seen side by side and amended, we will be providing some written comments shortly with some of the proposals. thank you very much. >> sorry, [inaudible], i have a question. does -- has chu-chu taken a position on what i have introduced? we have not. we are taking a look at parts of them. [speaker not understood]. i had been informed it had not taken a position on this legislation. i was surprised you would come today, say you had not taken a
position, criticize key parts and say you have questions. its was one of the first organizations in that role. at the time we were not asked to look at a second proposal so, we didn't have sort of two things to look at. now we have a comparison of item. and as this moves forward, i think there is a process, i think one of the things that has been spoken to quite a bit is when we have a second proposal, why not hear both at the same time. what chu-chu will be doing is looking at ways of amending the proposal and what we think might be a better way to address these. like we said, there is a specific question you raised at the beginning that we are not in compliance with state law around, a time limit for cat x's and negative declarations. we support that. that is a problem for affordable housing developers, market rate developers, it is a problem across the line. we fully support that be addressed. thank you. >> okay. next speaker.
chairman wiener, supervisors, my name is matt reagan. i'm here representing the bay area council, we are a [speaker not understood]. and before the ad hominems and the straw men get set up, we helped craft ceqa in 1969 and in the interim we were the first business group in california to support ab 32, the global warming solutions act, sb 375, land use [speaker not understood] just a couple of years ago. we're here to support supervisor wiener's legislation. it clarifies the rules for everyone. it favors neither project proponent or appellant. it simply tells everybody in advance what the rules are. a resident of san francisco should not have to hire a land use attorney to ask his or her government what the timeline is on their project's negative declaration. ceqa at its heart is a wonderful law. it reflects our best intentions as californians and it gives
good people great [speaker not understood] to stop bad projects. unfortunately it also gives people with no environmental motives [speaker not understood] to stop good projects. we had today [speaker not understood] san francisco bicycle master plan, affordable housing projects, housing for transitional youth, all stopped needlessly and at great expense because of ceqa delays. we also saw a great number of divisions among the community on the position on supervisor wiener's bill. labor is divided. neighborhood groups are divided, environmental groups are divided. the moral of the story is everybody loves ceqa. everybody loves ceqa's process until it kills a project that is near and dear to your heart. so, i think it is incumbent on this board to bring san francisco ceqa processes into uniformity with the rest of california and make san francisco a great place to live and work. thank you. >> thank you. before we go to mr. cho, let me
call a few more cards. i only have a few left. david graft, leonard lynch, [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood], sorry. shawn a mcgregor. [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood]. david oz good. [speaker not understood]. my apologies for mispronouncing. and we'll leave it there. mr. [speaker not understood]. would you turn on the overhead, please? my name is bernie showed en. i'm with san francisco tomorrow. in good faith, it would seem that we should postpone the hearing until we hear supervisor kim's proposal as you indicated. i would like to be more specific regard the legislation we are addressing. the state law mandates
cumulative impact that is all the events that are cumulatively being undertaken beyond the boundaries. [speaker not understood]. cumulative impact has to be measured by measurable criteria, testable criteria, and not by arbitrary limits in terms of area, size, or time limits for the renewal of permits. that's a violation of state law. further, as the supervisor indicated, truth is in the details. but also in the evaluation and the enforcement of law. in that respect, i want to call your attention, if you would, on the impact, egregious violation of state law [speaker not understood] ceqa regarding park merced and the cpmc where we have a pgd 30 inch gas pipeline of the possible
volatility that destroyed [speaker not understood] in san bruno t. was acknowledged by staff and consultants of park merced that [inaudible]. with repeat problem with regard to pipeline. despite a quarter of a mile distance on the most volatile earthquake seismic center in the region and not addressed. the testimony and written statements to that effect were removed from the comment -- public comments. i point out that 4,000 [speaker not understood] radius of danger is [speaker not understood]. >> thank you. ms. shabba. [inaudible]. >> okay, why don't we show that to the public. >> can we turn on the overhead? >> okay.
there there it is, park merced, and cpmc. >> great, thank you, mr. showed en. ms. shabba. hi, pilar shabba, california nurses association. we want to echo many of the comments that have been said today. we want to be able to take a look at supervisor kim's legislation at the same time as looking at the legislation that supervisor wiener has brought forward. we do have, you know, concerns, as everybody knows, we along with coalition members who have spoken and will speak today have been involved in an eight year fight around the cpmc development. and actually, many of the delays that happened in that development had nothing to do with ceqa or our coalition putting up roadblocks or anything like that. it had to do with the developer in kind of a start stop, start stop delay mode doing whatever they were doing, did not move
forward the project. and that's one of the reasons that that project really took so long. so, you know, through that process, i think clearly everyone at the board agrees that we've ended up in a much better place than we were a few months ago and years ago and through that process we had an ability to appeal to the board and to bring forward the concerns that we had around the project that is going to impact health care in this city for decades. and we think that it's really important that we had a chance to raise those concerns at the full board and to not believe that we would have gotten the great result that we did get if we had not had a chance to do that and really had a chance to appeal to the board as a whole. so, you know, we're very concerned about that change and we again would like to ask that this is continued until there is a chance to hear supervisor
kim's legislation as well. thank you. >> thank you. ms. sham. good afternoon, supervisors. my name is leah sham, i'm representing the san francisco bike coalition. we support the proposal on the table. you have a letter in on file about that. we support the proposal because it puts in process clear timelines and expectations and rules which everyone in san francisco will benefit from. we believe it's good government because it helps more transparency. i want to show that our organization has unfortunately seen a lot of the bumps in the road of poor process around ceqa or lack of process, i should say. the current rules or really lack thereof in many cases are unclear and add unnecessary difficulty, election making progress on our city's stated goals, particularly on relatively small projects. i want to say a lot of people talk about big projects cpmc or park merced. that's what we're talking with here. relatively small projects such as adding pedestrian build
outs, bulb outs or bike lanes. relatively small in scope, but big in impact in terms of safety. most recently people have heard their reference to dolores park right now, just a few months ago to the delays in la salle and oak street projects which were unanimously approved at the mta board after 10 years of process. for bike and will pedestrian safety improvements, but were unfortunately held up because of concerns around parking which is not part of ceqa consideration. i just want to share that it really is confusing to everyone the way thing are done now. so, given our city's priority on transit first and our organization's priority on helping the city, live up to transit first, we support this and hope you move it forward. thanks. >> thank you, ms. lam. thank you, xiiixv. -- supervisors. my name is julie [speaker not understood]. our planning committee has
voted unanimously to oppose the legislation as it now stands. that does not mean we oppose changes to the ceqa code in order to achieve a kind of transparency that supervisor wiener is after and to really make a level playing field for the general public. i just want to call your attention to the fact that people have pro sessionals and planning manners and ceqa matters are able to very quickly able to get review projects and sort through what's relevant and what's not relevant to them. ~ this is not true for the general public. ~ professionals i've been involved in planning matters for a long time, but i'm not a professional and i still have a hard time making heads or tails of things. ordinary people in the neighborhoods, when the projects -- when they're faced
with something, they have an extremely difficult time getting their heads around it and understanding what if the impacts to them are and to the city, and taking some stand. so, that's why one of the things that we oppose is the early trigger. i was hoping -- i had to leave early and come back. i was hoping to hear an explanation of what would be a first and early approval action. and an example of that would be the earliest approval action that could trigger an appeal period starting. and that's very significant. we don't know what that is. and, so, we're not really ready to agree to that without knowing what the real details are. thank you. >> thank you, ms. lam. ms. crowley.
good afternoon or evening, chair wiener, president chiu, supervisor, supervisor kim. i will try to be very brief, less than two minutes, of course. i was shocked when i learned that the legislation would deny an appellant's appeal before the full board of supervisors and it concern me that there would be an appeal decision made by three people, not 11. and, so, i think that needs to be looked into and i understand that it could be. ~ violating state law. additionally, in all fairness, i think that a reasonable next step would be for you to delay
sending this legislation to the full board and so that we can have a look at a real serious look at supervisor kim's proposed legislation. i, for example, know nothing about it and i think that's really important that you [speaker not understood] that through all the citizens of san francisco. so, i thank you very much. one further comment, i know it's not protocol, but some of us have another meeting to go to and we'd like to stay for the cpmc. ~ items and i wonder how long it would take. >> that item will be immediately following this aye at thevthv. and we have only a few public comment card left. i don't think it will be long. one item, i don't think you were here earlier, no one is proposing fewer than 11 supervisors decide any ceqa appeals. ~ the dispute is about whether on certain -- on appeals whether it's legislation pending, whether public comment would occur in committee or the full
board. that's the debate. no one is suggesting that anything fewer than 11 supervisors would vote and decide ceqa appeals. got it. thank you. >> thank you. ms. trennert. good afternoon, supervisor wiener, supervisor kim, david. pleasure to be here today. my name is dawn trennert. i live in the middle polk neighborhood and the city, and also a member of neighborhood network. i believe that san francisco would benefit most from hearing supervisor kim's proposal in addition to supervisor wiener's. you're both very talented individuals. you have a lot to bring to the table. and i think it would be best to hear both and really learn what golden nuggets we have in both pieces, both proposals, and then make a decision from there. my concerns -- if i had to pick one -- concerns supervisor
wiener, it would be about the public comment being in front of just committee and not in front of the full board. i believe that that would have a lessening impact on some statements that are very critical. thank you. >> thank you very much, ms. trennert. ms. [speaker not understood]. good afternoon. i'm nancy wilson representing the sunset park side education and action committee, speak. we oppose the wiener legislation as currently written and urge you to continue this item until supervisor kim presents her alternative reform legislation for comparison. the wiener proposal makes a mockery, unfortunately, of protecting the environment and our historic resources by forcing the public to exercise our appeal rights of exempt determinations within 30 days after the first approvals. please do not let the value of exemptions be turned into a way
to circumvent appropriate environmental review by casting out the ability to appeal a revised project that was greatly changed since this original approval. the exemption must be adequate to cover all discretionary decisions since each one may generate relevant new information about the scope of environmental impacts which can only be known at the end of the process. the san francisco weekly recently quoted a cynical architectural designer to say it is possible to level a building and construct a new one defining it as a remodel. "but you cannot do it all at once, you've got to do it piecemeal, so, you try and fish through it all, it approved, build it and then not get in trouble with the inspector taking out more of the building than you designated you were going to." builders already know how to game the system and some do it every day. it's not right to make us predict that a project initially presented as a an --
approved as an innocent remodel will result in one that violates the law through serial permits or outrageous section. and please do not confuse the rights of appeal of a building permit with the rights of appeal of a ceqa decision. they address different public concerns. please let us all have a chance to hear and consider supervisor kim's legislation and do not vote on this today. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. good afternoon. edward mottser, [speaker not understood]. we urge continuation of the vote on the wiener amendment here today. i would like focus my discussion specifically on 31.16, the automatic appeal and how this section introduces additional levels of confusion and uncertainty for the public and how it harm the environmental dialogue before the final project approval. so, the wiener amendment
contemplates two pass for appeal. it [speaker not understood]. it is important because it requires a different action by the public depending on what -- whether the board of supervisors is the ceqa decision making body or not. the question is when would the board of supervisors become the ceqa decision making body. we argue it is uncertain ask confusing. for example, section 32.16 b2b says the board of supervisors is the decision making body if one or more proposed approval actions for the project is pending before the board of supervisors prior to the expiration of the administrative appeal period. now, our issue is it relies on the already unclear first approval action. also, the 30-day appeal window is from first approval action or from the time of notice for specific projects. and lastly, what if that appending action is [speaker not understood] by the board of supervisors. another section, section 2c says the board of supervisors